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ADDA

LONG ISLAND CITY INDIAN

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#1 Daniel

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 02:41 PM

31-31 THOMSON AVE QUEENS 

 

I have been longing to go to Adda for quite some time.. My experience with Indian Food has been rather disappointing.. I have had dishes that I have loved,  I have had experiences that have shown me it's potential and even when I have been to the generic places, I still walk away with a sense of mild enjoyment.. To me, indian food at it's most basic and americanized, is still more enjoyable than americanized chinese food.. I much prefer butter to sweet I guess..   But, with the the high praises from both Robert Seistsema, (someone I truly respect) and of course Pete Wells, I have been so excited to try this place.. Despite the fact that I didn't want to read the review until I went there myself.  But, the hours are weird and it's far from my house and circumstances have kept me away.. 

 

So last night, we were out at an event and we wanted to leave early so, I figured it would be a great time to make a run for it..  We checked yelp and made a reservation through the app... The room is comfortable and warm and it was happening at 730 last night... It was right next to a college and there were tons of young people in there..  I think we were the only people over 30 in the joint.  It reminded me of a more organized , comfortable and friendly ugly baby. 

 

The place is byob, i walked next door to 7-11 and purchased 3 modellos.  The food looks incredible..  There is a whole dorode that comes covered in this spice mixture.  There are briyani cooked in clay pots covered with naan tops. All visually appealing.. We peruse the menu and make our decision.. I really, really want the whole fish but, we just had a whole fish last night..  The food reads well, everything seems interesting.. prices are low. 

 

We started with the young chicken.. The waiter waxed poetically about it.. How it's marinated and the spice...  It was well, ok.. The masala spice was good. it tasted like chicken marinated in yogurt.. didn't really pick up smoke or anything... The oil at the bottom hardened before we finished and it turned into like a solid sheet of melted candle wax.  But yeh, i mean, didn't stand out.. the onions were a nice touch... my buddy who grew up with first generation parents often spoke about how raw onions were just eaten with food all the time.  So, I guess this was an authentic touch. 

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We ordered the goat briyani.  I don't remember which one.. But, it came in a clay pot with covered in a naan with a great spice mix.. The pepper was really nice.. The briyani itself was cooked really well.. the goat perfectly stewed, the marrow delicious, there was a great heat.. There was an overwhelming cardamom flavor.. I tasted a little clove as well but, really it was over the top cardamom.. I enjoyed this, Miss A likened it to eating a pod.. Either way, this was one of my favorite Briyani.. My favorite being from a Pakistani Restaurant in Khan BBQ in Chicago.. 

 

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Malvani Coconut Curry.. The sauce was delicious. Nice hints of more clove, there was shredded coconut in the sauce that added body, there was a nice spice.  Everything was going well... But, prawns, you say?  Oh, no, no, I am sorry. These are not prawns.. These little shrimp escaped from a 99 cent shrimp cocktail from Downtown Las Vegas..  These were maybe u/60's or something.. Truly and 6 to a serving for 23 bucks... It seemed like a mistake..  Not to mention, on yelp, ,the prawn dish has heads and shrimp that are large.. Perhaps they ran out and ran to a bodega?  I don't know but, it was not worthy of the sauce... 

 

Also, i mean, can you imagine the transformation this little restaurant has gone through.. Imagine both Eater and NY times starts to give you this high praise.. There is no way the quality and the procedures have not been stream lined.. I promise when this place opened, it was not expecting to be wall to wall people on the coldest night of the year in the middle of nowhere on a wednesday.. 

 

They are hiding in there somewhere:

 

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So, in summation, I was not blown away..  I liked the Briyani, my wife did not.. I liked the curry but, the shrimp were not great.. We had a chat that arrived half way through the meal that we forgot about.. The naan with cheese and chili was good..  Over all, there is a lot more of the menu to explore.. It's was good, they are trying, they are doing different things than your cookie cutter place.. I will be back but, it may take some convincing of my bride.. The space is lively, it's fun, people are excited... 


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#2 Orik

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 03:47 PM

If you tried Indian food in places that are highly regarded and you didn't really like it then the conclusion is that you can save yourself a whole lot of cream and spice induced bellyaches, no? 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#3 Rich

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 03:51 PM

Went a few months ago and thought it was very good. Maybe the overwhelming crowds have slammed the kitchen into submission.

 

Brought a Ridge Zin that went quite well with the food.



#4 Daniel

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 04:01 PM

If you tried Indian food in places that are highly regarded and you didn't really like it then the conclusion is that you can save yourself a whole lot of cream and spice induced bellyaches, no? 

 

I don't know who is highly regarding them is the question.. If I go to India and eat Indian food that is highly regarded and I don't enjoy it then, I will stop.. If you are going to tell me that when I eventually get to Goa and I sit down and eat a huge plate of Goa Shrimp and I am not going to like it, i would be shocked.   I have had some really good dishes and enjoyed myself.. I even get the Idian Meal on the airplane trip to China and I enjoy it more than American Airplane food.  if you go on seamless in my neighborhood or go on yelp and see what has 4 stars, you would be shocked.  Not to mention, Robert S. I am sure went to a restaurant before it was packed, before the times, before the throngs of people.. I am saiyng, maybe this place was better before the reviews..  Does anyone know how much traveling through Indian Robert has done?

 

I also have avoided many of the super expensive indian places in New York and much of my experiences have been at random cheap take out places.. It's not like I have put in as much effort to learn as I have with Chinese Food or Italian Food.. I love Helmut's food, i didn't necessarily enjoy all the fuddy duddy service behind it. 

 

For instance, Eater just came out with it's top Chinese Restaurants in Chinatown.. I am shocked by most of the list.. those arent really good places, especailly compared to the food in China.. I hear people raving about Wu's Wonton.. Even David Chang talks about it.. That place is atrocious and you could not find a place serving that bad of food anywhere in China.. Yet, it's decent by New York standards..   

 

If you said to me, I don't like Cantonese Food because I didn't like the food at Wu's, I would say not to give up on the cuisine because of this place.  And yet, I would be happier eating generic indian food than I would be eating at Wu's.   


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#5 joethefoodie

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 04:27 PM

If you tried Indian food in places that are highly regarded and you didn't really like it then the conclusion is that you can save yourself a whole lot of cream and spice induced bellyaches, no? 

This is generally how I feel, and it translates to other areas as well - street meat, 5 for $1dumplings, etc. etc.  Even certain pizza, though I set it aside for those 1 or 2 stomach aches a month.



#6 joethefoodie

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 04:33 PM

 I hear people raving about Wu's Wonton.. Even David Chang talks about it.. That place is atrocious 

  

 

I think this is a silly statement.

 

I mean, you love NY Noodletown, and it ain't that much better.



#7 Daniel

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 04:40 PM

 

 I hear people raving about Wu's Wonton.. Even David Chang talks about it.. That place is atrocious 

  

 

I think this is a silly statement.

 

I mean, you love NY Noodletown, and it ain't that much better.

 

 

I go to Great NY Noodletown, yes.. And i do love it for sure as it's a ny institution. . It has a great fried soft shell crab, a pretty good salt baked shrimp when they don't have crab,  it has the best roast baby pig, it has that ginger scallion sauce, it is opened to 4 in the morning.. And really, i can put that ginger scallion sauce on anything and it be  good. Their bbq is pretty decent. The noodles are usually bad, the duck egg rolls is usually filled with grease and they steam a decent plate of greens.  They have a decent version of rice with salted fish.  Most of the menu is bad.. But, the place is opened until 4 am and it has a great vibe and all the people in their know us.  And my wife demands it every now and then.. But, is that my first choice, no, certainly not. 

 

But, if great ny noodletown were in China, outside of the sheer shock of seeing the place fly all the way to China, I wouldn't step foot in the place.. 


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#8 joethefoodie

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 05:07 PM

 

 

 I hear people raving about Wu's Wonton.. Even David Chang talks about it.. That place is atrocious 

  

 

I think this is a silly statement.

 

I mean, you love NY Noodletown, and it ain't that much better.

 

 

I go to Great NY Noodletown, yes.. And i do love it for sure as it's a ny institution. . It has a great fried soft shell crab, a pretty good salt baked shrimp when they don't have crab,  it has the best roast baby pig, it has that ginger scallion sauce, it is opened to 4 in the morning.. And really, i can put that ginger scallion sauce on anything and it be  good. Their bbq is pretty decent. The noodles are usually bad, the duck egg rolls is usually filled with grease and they steam a decent plate of greens.  They have a decent version of rice with salted fish.  Most of the menu is bad.. But, the place is opened until 4 am and it has a great vibe and all the people in their know us.  And my wife demands it every now and then.. But, is that my first choice, no, certainly not. 

 

But, if great ny noodletown were in China, outside of the sheer shock of seeing the place fly all the way to China, I wouldn't step foot in the place.. 

 

This is certainly stating the obvious; I think the same can be said for any number of restaurants serving cuisines of specific countries...that is, they wouldn't be your first choice in the country of their origin.

 

I think the roast duck and roast chicken are just as good, if not better at Wu's, as at NY Noodletown; and the ginger scallion sauce - well, it's pretty much the same. And the bone broth soups with dumplings are better.



#9 Rich

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 05:26 PM

Put me into the Really Enjoy Wu's category.



#10 Orik

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 05:49 PM

 

If you tried Indian food in places that are highly regarded and you didn't really like it then the conclusion is that you can save yourself a whole lot of cream and spice induced bellyaches, no? 

 

I don't know who is highly regarding them is the question.. If I go to India and eat Indian food that is highly regarded and I don't enjoy it then, I will stop.. If you are going to tell me that when I eventually get to Goa and I sit down and eat a huge plate of Goa Shrimp and I am not going to like it, i would be shocked.   I have had some really good dishes and enjoyed myself.. I even get the Idian Meal on the airplane trip to China and I enjoy it more than American Airplane food.  if you go on seamless in my neighborhood or go on yelp and see what has 4 stars, you would be shocked.  Not to mention, Robert S. I am sure went to a restaurant before it was packed, before the times, before the throngs of people.. I am saiyng, maybe this place was better before the reviews..  Does anyone know how much traveling through Indian Robert has done?

 

I also have avoided many of the super expensive indian places in New York and much of my experiences have been at random cheap take out places.. It's not like I have put in as much effort to learn as I have with Chinese Food or Italian Food.. I love Helmut's food, i didn't necessarily enjoy all the fuddy duddy service behind it. 

 

For instance, Eater just came out with it's top Chinese Restaurants in Chinatown.. I am shocked by most of the list.. those arent really good places, especailly compared to the food in China.. I hear people raving about Wu's Wonton.. Even David Chang talks about it.. That place is atrocious and you could not find a place serving that bad of food anywhere in China.. Yet, it's decent by New York standards..   

 

If you said to me, I don't like Cantonese Food because I didn't like the food at Wu's, I would say not to give up on the cuisine because of this place.  And yet, I would be happier eating generic indian food than I would be eating at Wu's.   

 

 

If you're going out for a random casual meal it's going to be Italian or Chinese 1000 times before it's Indian, right? and it's not as if those Italian places are generally that good, so probably you don't appreciate an over-cardamomized biryani aa much as you do an over-sauced middling quality pasta and it's not because nyc mid-level Indian is worse compared to an idealized version than nyc Italian compared to such a version of itself. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#11 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 05:59 PM

I've eaten a little bit in India and a lot in Italy and I'm not sure that's true at the mid level. The comparison isn't Dhaba vs Dell'anima it's Dhaba vs a neighborhood slice joints pasta menu. Adda is a mid-level Indian place. ( Which one of my Indian colleagues-whom I've eaten all around Asia with and he's generally into food- thought was so good he tried to get our other Indian colleagues to go)

Mongo ain't lying to you all about how bad most of this Indian food is. The wealthy Indian Diaspora in town mostly have cooks who come to their homes 3-4 times a week and prepare all their meals for them.

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#12 Daniel

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 06:02 PM

I've eaten a little bit in India and a lot in Italy and I'm not sure that's true at the mid level. The comparison isn't Dhaba vs Dell'anima it's Dhaba vs a neighborhood slice joints pasta menu. Adda is a mid-level Indian place. ( Which one of my Indian colleagues-whom I've eaten all around Asia with and he's generally into food- thought was so good he tried to get our other Indian colleagues to go)

Mongo ain't lying to you all about how bad most of this Indian food is. The wealthy Indian Diaspora in town mostly have cooks who come to their homes 3-4 times a week and prepare all their meals for them.

 

Anthony I would like to hear about your experience as Adda... What did you get? Was it before or  after the reviews. 


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#13 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 06:05 PM

Sorry if it wasn't clear. I have not been to Adda, but about half my office has. Both pre and post reviews and they all liked it. One caveat for sure most of them are veg. ( Some commentary on caste and iit/iim admits in that statement lol )

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#14 Steve R.

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 06:24 PM

We went in early December & really liked it. As an aside, it’s owned by the guy that was Suvir’s partner at Tapestry. This is his informal place, as he still has his primary restaurant in the space where Tapestry had its short life.

I thought I wrote it up but I guess not. I’ll look around to see what we had that was really good, but I do remember that my main was the goat biryani & I really liked it. The table next to us were vegetarians & the kitchen made the same dish with what looked like fresh vegetables. I sort of remember an eggplant dish that we liked as well.

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#15 Daniel

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 06:43 PM

For the record, I said I enjoyed the briyani... It was among the best I have had so, it was better than the comparative middle of the road italian restaurants.. I actually hate over sauced and poorly made pasta.. I won't eat it for the most part.. And I really don't frequent that many shitty italian restaurants more than once.. I usually go to try an old school place to mark it off the list and I enjoy old school new york rooms.... That being said, I don't often explore indian restaurants as I have been so let down in the past and associate that type of food with really unhealthy butter laden eating..  

 

But yeh, I should make more of an effort to try Indian Spots.. No doubt,  As I do enjoy the food, I just haven't taken the time to research as much as I should.. 


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.





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